Students in grades K-5 use the Everyday Mathematics program. It is a rigorous and balanced program that emphasizes conceptual understanding while building a mastery of basic skills. Mathematics instruction in the North Plainfield Public Schools includes the full mathematics spectrum of numeration, operations and algebraic thinking, geometry, measurement and data. Instruction is aligned to the Common Core Standards in Mathematics.
One of the key features in Everyday Mathematics is an emphasis on problem solving. Problems are presented in everyday contexts through which children learn about math. Another key feature of the program is the use of games to help students attain mastery of skills without the boredom of rote repetition. Review is ongoing throughout the year. Students are not expected to master new concepts the first time they encounter them, but rather build their understanding over time.
Middle School Mathematics
The middle school program has developed in response to the increasing demands of Student Learning Standards. In Grade 6, all students have a double period of math instruction. We have adopted the Big Ideas Math program, along with the computer software program, Compass Learning, that complements it. Student will learn to read, analyze and compute to solve problems in all operations, as well as in the areas of algebraic thinking, in geometry and in probability. The software program is geared toward the middle school student and aligns with the NWEA MAP assessment. NWEA merges with Compass Learning to create an individualized learning path for students to work on their weaknesses in mathematics.
Selected seventh and eighth grade students are also using this program. These students also have a double period of math instruction.
High School Mathematics
In response to students’ needs, North Plainfield High School has instituted a double period program in PreAlgebra, Algebra 1 and Geometry, which aims to strengthen math skills and understanding for its students. Students who have demonstrated difficulty in attaining an understanding of basic mathematics concepts will take double periods of mathematics. These periods will meet consecutively and be taught by the same teacher. This will afford student the “gift of time” to explore difficult and challenging concepts in greater depth. Teachers have been trained in the use of this program and plan instructional activities that take advantage of the district’s technology, including interactive white boards, graphing calculators, and software. The additional time will also allow teachers to more readily accommodate students’ learning needs through differentiated instruction, small group work and individual attention. Frequent assessment will ensure that teachers know where students are achieving proficiency, and where they will need support. Support for classified students and those who are English Language Learners will be a critical component of this program; the district seeks to impress upon all students that academic success is within their reach!
Courses in Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2 and Precalculus are offered at the college prep and honors level. Precalculus Honors may be taken in the high school as a concurrent enrollment course through Raritan Valley Community College, pending their results on the Accuplacer test offered each year. These students receive both high school and college credit for this course. In addition, students can take Calculus Honors, AP Calculus, or AP Statistics.